Euraquilo or Euroclydon?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by John of Japan, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Proofreading our Japanese NT in Acts 27:14, I came across an interesting difference. Concerning the northeaster wind mentioned there, the critical text (Alexandrian mss) has Euraquilo but the Byzantine has Eurocludon (or Euroclydon). In most English translations, both are transliterations, though the NIV translates it as "northeaster." Now if you can, please set apart your version preference and consider the term itself.

    According to ISBE (the 1986 revision, Vol. 3, p. 551) on Euraquilo, "It is a compound of Gk. euros ('east wind') and Lat. ("northeast wind")...and therefore designates the east-northeast wind." On the other hand, Euroclydon is described by the same source, "would designate 'a southeast wind, that stirs up waves." It is from two Greek words, euros for "The South-East wind" and kludon, "a wave, billow, surge." (These two definitions are from Liddell-Scott's Greek lexicon, my "Middle Liddell.")

    First of all, think linguistically. Earaquilo is said to be a compound from two languages, Greek and Latin. That is very unlikely. Compound words are almost never from two languages. Do you know any compounds in English from two languages? I sure don't. Now, if this is a mistaken term it is easily explained by something called code-switching, in which a bilingual person mixes the two languages up while he speaks. On the other hand, Euroclydon is from two Greek words, a much more likely compound.

    Now think geographically. Look at a map of Crete. Look northeast of the island. That is the mainland. Strong winds do not come from the mainland, they come from the sea, so Euroquilo, or "Northeaster," is unlikely geographically. Furthermore, they were sailing south of Crete (v. 7), meaning the whole island would soften any storms. On the other hand, the East of Crete is wide open sea, making a strong Eastern wind likely. Having said that, here is a modern website that describes strong winds from several directions including north and southeast: http://www.sfakia-crete.com/sfakia-crete/windsofcrete.html. So geographically I suppose either reading is possible.

    However, this was "after the fast" (v. 9). According to A. T. Robertson, "In A.D. 59 the Fast occurred on Oct. 5" (Word Pictures in the Greek NT, accessed through PowerBible). According to the website on the winds of Crete, “Southeasterly winds commonly occur during the April to October period, but are more frequent during April/May and September/October. Strong episodes occur 3 to 4 times per year and last 1 to 2 days.” So the time frame fits an eastern storm.

    Now finally, think about textual criticism. The Alexandrian is quite mixed in spelling, with only four mss having Euraquilon, according to the apparatus of my UBS3: p75, Aleph, A, B. Concerning this reading, according to Bruce Metzger, "The word, which does not occur elsewhere, obviously gave trouble to copyists, who introduced a wide variety of emendations" (A Textual Commentary on the Greek NT, 2nd ed., p. 440).

    My verdict? Euroklydon is correct. Cool
     
  2. Rob_BW

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    English is full of Latin-Greek combos, from pulling the roots from commonly used words and pairing them up willy nilly. Many of the (insert-animal-here)-phobias come to mind.

    I don't think that this would be as common in the 1st century, when Latin and Greek were thriving languages.
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Point taken. However, your point about Latin and Greek in the 1st century is also quite valid. For a modern comparison, I can't think of any English/Spanish compounds.
     
  4. Rob_BW

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    I hadn't thought of the English-Spanish angle, that is a neat consideration.
     
  5. OnlyaSinner

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    I've never studied Greek, but since Luke was such a precise describer of people, places, and events, I looked at geography instead. Malta is west-northwest (by west) from Crete, thus an east wind with a slight southerly component would seem to best describe the storm, especially since the ship was evidently running before it, meaning straight downwind or nearly so.
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    That is an excellent point. Thank you! Thumbsup
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    By the way, Westcott and Hort blew it here in 28:1, following B according to A. T. Robertson: "Melita (Melitê). Not Miletenê as only B reads, a clerical error, but retained in the text of Westcott and Hort because of B. Page notes that the island was Malta as is shown from the name, the location, the presence of a ship from Alexandria bound for Rome wintering there (verse Ac 28:11), and the mention of Syracuse as the next stop after leaving (verse Ac 28:12)." (op cit).

    Unfortunately, the textual commentary of WH in Volume 2 of their Greek NT doesn't give anything on this verse. The Metzger textual commentary (op cit, p. 443) points out the error and goes with Μελίτη just like the Byzantine. So for once UBS and the Byzantine textform agree.
     
  8. Rippon

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    Which just about sums up this critical matter. ;-)
     
  9. Rippon

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    How about nearly 70% of the time.
     

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